Merit Badge FAQ
The Merit Badge Worksheets & Requirements include the maps, checklists and other materials you need.
Other resources include the online Merit Badge Application and Most Popular Merit Badges
Certain requirements need prior approval but most do not.
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Where are the Merit Badge Worksheets?
Right here: Merit Badge Worksheets.
What requirements and rules do we follow?
No. For Advancement under the BSA National Council, the precedence of documentation is:
- 1. Boy Scout Requirements - make sure you have the current year
- 2. Advancement Policies #33088 - policies for Boards of Review, Eagle Projects, Scoutmaster Conferences, etc.
- 3. Policy support documents such as the:
- 4. Handbooks such as the Boy Scout Handbook and Scoutmaster Handbook
Should Scouts really read the Merit Badge Book (Pamphlet)?
Can a counselor change the requirements?
Who can earn a merit badge? Can summer camps or anyone else add age or rank requirements to merit badges?
|— Advancement Policies #33088, p. 24|
Are there additional rules for summer summer camps?
Yes. See Advancement in Summer Camp.
Can a counselor modify a requirement for a Scout who has a disability?
No. See Youth Members with Special Needs
Can a counselor declare a Scout to have Special Needs?
No. See Youth Members with Special Needs
Do Scouts have to use a Merit Badge Application?
"Get a signed Merit Badge Application from your Scoutmaster."'(#33216 p. 22)  "...partial credit should be noted on the Application for Merit Badge..." (#33088 p. 34)  The "blue card", #34124 is not specified.
Does work have to be done after the Merit Badge Application is started?
Can a merit badge be taken away?
A merit badge cannot be taken away once it has been earned, "provided the counselor is a registered counselor for the merit badge." (p. 26)  Also a merit badge application can’t list the Counselor as “Pixley Fire Dept.” A fire department can’t be registered to counsel a merit badge.
Do all merit badge counselors have to be trained & approved?
"All merit badge counselors, even those who serve only one unit, must be trained and approved by the Council and District advancement committees and be registered with the council." (p.14) 
Must registered adult leaders register again to also be merit badge counselors?
"All Merit badge counselors must…register as a merit badge counselor…" (Code 42). (p. 13-14) 
Who selects a counselor?
- "Your Scoutmaster will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors." (#33216 p. 22) 
Is there a limit to how many merit badges can one person can counsel?
"There is no restriction or limit on the number of merit badges an individual may counsel but they must be approved for each specific merit badge." (p. 13) 
Can a merit badge counselor counsel their own son or relative?
"An approved counselor can counsel any youth member, including his or her own son, ward, or relative." (p. 13) 
Can a someone under 18 teach merit badges?
"Camp staff members who are qualified in the subject and are younger than age 18 may assist the merit badge counselor with instruction...However regardless of the class format, each Scout must be tested individually by the counselor to ensure completion of the badge's requirements." (p. 34) 
Can someone require or prohibit Merit Badge Workbooks?
- "No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from an advancement requirement." (p. 3, 23, 26, 34, etc.) See Boy Scout Advancement 
If a counselor covers a requirement does a Scout still have to be tested?
- Yes. "In the end, the Scout must be reviewed individually by the counselor..." (p. 24). 
Must a Scout complete all merit badge requirements within a year?
"Any registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn these awards until his 18th birthday."(p. 24). 
- Also, "There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18."(p. 34). 
Can Scouts earn partial credit for a merit badge at a summer camp?
Do we have to turn in an Advancement Report to buy merit badges?
"Badges of rank, merit badges, and Eagle Palms are restricted items. These items may not be sold or distributed unless the Advancement Report, has been properly filled out and has been submitted to the local council office." (p. 34) 
Should we wait until the next court of honor to present the merit badge?
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Boy Scout Requirements p.22
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Advancement Policies #33088
General Merit Badge information
- An Introduction to Merit Badges – how to get started, who chooses the counselor, etc.
- Merit Badge Worksheets & Requirements – with the revision dates, diagrams, charts, checklists, logs, and links you need.
- Merit Badge Application – offers online resources to let you print "Blue Cards," etc.
- Merit Badge FAQ – answers dozens of questions like: Who can be a counselor? Can requirements be added or removed?
- Merit Badges Requiring Prior Approval – Certain requirements need prior approval. Most do not. Here is the list.
- Also see: List of how many boys have earned each Merit Badge – Merit Badge policies – Merit badges required for the Eagle Scout rank – Merit Badge Days
- Additionally: List of Merit Badges by Field of Study – Merit Badge Pamphlets & Libraries
- Merit Badge Counselors must complete Youth Protection Training, file an Adult Application (and Merit Badge Counselor Information Form); and be approved by the local council. (See the Guide for Merit Badge Counselors for additional details.)